Orioles top pitching prospect Hunter Harvey will undergo Tommy John surgery, general manager Dan Duquette revealed on today’s Baseball Tonight Podcast with ESPN’s Buster Olney (audio link). “He’s had a strain in his elbow, and we’ve been trying to see if he could pitch with it,” Duquette explained, “but he had another setback last week, and it looks like he’s going to need to have a ligament reconstruction procedure here.”
Harvey was selected with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2013 draft but has scarcely pitched since due to a series of injuries, including a flexor mass strain, a broken shin and surgery to repair a hernia. He’s frequently been rated among the game’s Top 100 overall prospects by the likes of Baseball America, MLB.com, Baseball Prospectus and ESPN’s Keith Law, but Harvey didn’t pitch at all in 2015, threw just 12 2/3 innings this season and will now miss most or all of the 2017 season as well. The injury serves as a blow to the Orioles from a depth standpoint and also undoubtedly comes as a crushing bit of news to a pitcher that is still just 21 years of age. From a deadline perspective, the injury also eliminates any possibility of Harvey’s inclusion in a deal to help augment the Orioles’ big league rotation, which currently ranks 27th in the Majors with a 5.11 ERA and last in total innings pitched at 503 1/3.
Harvey’s surgery will take place next Tuesday, according to Rich Dubroff of CSNMidAtlantic.com.